Due to a lapse in federal funding, this USDA website will not be actively updated. Once funding has been reestablished, online operations will continue. On-going operational updates will be posted here (https://www.fs.fed.us/shutdown) as we are able to provide them.


Take a guided hike to learn about farm history in the Prairie State and more at the USDA Forest Service’s Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie on Saturday, May 5

Contact(s): Veronica Hinke

What was farm life like along Route 66 in its heyday? Find out on Saturday, May 5, 2018 at the USDA Forest Service’s Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. Drift back in time as you step through the cobbled remains of a farmstead of yesteryear. Hear how this farm shaped lives along Route 66. Stop for a moment of fun and learning from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. as part of the area’s annual Red Carpet Corridor Festival.  


In our new Prairie Farmstead Tour you can visit a farm home and farmstead building sites. Walk along an old farm road that trails past a farm that sustained people in the 1830s. Get a rare peek into the lives of farmers who lived here. How did they conquer challenges?


Along the way, guides will point out invasive plant species and also native Illinois prairie plants. Learn how to tell the difference. Many of the plants are now here as part of restoration that began in 1996 when Midewin was established by the Illinois Land Conservation Act. The legislation included four purposes for Midewin, including restoration, recreation – and also the continuation of agricultural uses of the land. Hikes will be at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.


Agriculture hikes will be staggered with spring nature hikes, which will be offered at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Learn to identify spring birds, butterflies and blooms. We might see spring beauties, bluebells and more. Hear the croaks of frogs and other sounds of the prairie.


All hikes will be 45 minutes. They will cover a quarter of a mile on trails or mowed paths. Wear comfortable, clothes-toed shoes and be prepared for some possible muddy patches.


Along with the hikes, there are many activities planned for May 5: Get close up to a 97-foot-tall Smokey Bear hot air balloon display that will be here from Albuquerque until noon; stroll through a Natural Resources Expo; look for the bison herd; we might get to see some spring calves! Get your commemorative button and more! Details are online, here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/midewin/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD575790.